Taper taper taper pack

How do you go about tapering for a race when, for the last few weeks, you’ve been staving off injuries? Well, only time will tell, I’m afraid. After a failed cutback long run on Sunday (hoped it would be 8 miles, but cut it short at about half a mile), and instead road the bike at the gym for 45 minutes (would’ve done longer, but NB and I were on a time crunch for breakfast and getting him to church, as always). Monday I cross-trained. Tuesday, NB and I hit the track, prepared to cut it short at the first sign of trouble.

For my part, I felt just fine. I felt a little stiff at the start, but my knee quickly loosened. On Monday I’d stopped at Dick’s to buy a knee band. The night before I speedwalked a few blocks and then ran maybe a half or three-quarters of a mile at an easy pace, speeding up to race pace near the end. It felt okay on my knee. I ran most of the workout with the band on, taking it off when it felt too tight as we were doing the cooldown.

But how did the workout go? Well, it was just a speed-sharpening, confidence-boosting 2×1600. I wanted to quit or slow down, but told myself: you just got first in your AG a few days ago. Act like it. You can hit these splits. I hit 7:33 for both, and was really, really happy about it. NB said his shins hurt some, but he’s been (hopefully) icing and we’ve both been only cross-training since, so hopefully we’ll be alright.

Other than that, I’ve been cross-training, and tonight, I was packing. After work I bought some new hair bands (mine are all kinds of stretched out) and a water bottle that I can drink from before the start to take a pre-race Gu and then throwaway. I also got a cheapo $15 hoodie from Target. I wanted to get something even cheaper on clearance, but had no luck. Next time I’ll shop at the Salvation Army. The morning forecast in Dayton on race morning may be in the 40s, so this chick is gonna need throwaway clothes.

As far as packing goes, I started making my list yesterday. I’d been checking the forecast and saw full sun for race day, and wrote down sunblock. Then I wrote “bib # email,” since apparently we need to bring that with for packet pickup. For anyone curious, here’s my list (I know @VerteDinde was wondering):

sunscreen, bib number email, ipod (armband, headphones, charger – though I’m not positive I’ll be running with my iPod), Garmin (charger), fuel belt, Gus (6x), Clif shotblocks, Nuun tablets, throwaway water bottle, knee band, compression shorts, compression socks, running shirts (2x), running socks (2x), running shoes (2x; LEFT AND RIGHT, thanks Peter Sagal), check for friends who booked hotel room, safety pins (4x), toiletries, vaseline and BodyGlide, t-shirts, shorts, jeans, jacket/hoodie, pajamas, oatmeal (with brown sugar & dried blueberries, 2x), ibuprofen, flip flops, laptop, phone charger

If anyone thinks of anything else, feel free to leave a comment, but I think I’m decently covered at this point. I’ll also be wearing my PGH marathon shirt to the expo tomorrow so I can find their booth and apparently get some free schwag.

I’m going to try to still get to bed between 10 and 11 p.m. tonight and get up at 8 a.m. I’m hoping to walk (maybe run/walk to loosen up?) to Bagel Factory for breakfast, maybe stop by the Apple Store to get new headphones (mine are weakening, sound-wise). And if I can’t find that Nuun, I may also be making a stop at REI.

Am I excited? You bet. Am I nervous? Definitely. I’m honestly just hoping I can actually run the whole thing without pain. I want to get out there and have a good time. Anything else will be icing on the cake.

Or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

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I'm a 30-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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